It's great to be back in New Zealand after a fantastic season at Gozo Technical Diving, one of the very best sidemount and technical diving centres in the world. In over 8.000 minutes in the water, I logged 81 staged decompression dives over the six months and had the privilege of working with and guiding some fantastic technical divers and instructors. I can't wait to share what I have acquired with divers interested in sidemount diving here in New Zealand. Here's some video of my time in Gozo.
In that light, I am super excited to announce that I will be partnering with Global Dive in Auckland to deliver sidemount courses this season. I have known the great reputation of Andrew Simpson, Anna Clague and Simon Collins at Global Dive for some time now but it was only in the later part of last summer that we were able to connect properly. Without question they share many of my philosophies with respect to diving, in particular aspiring to excellence and given they had a gap in their offerings for sidemount instruction, the partnership is based on a really strong foundation.
This week we jointly released our course schedule for Dec and early Jan starting with two Intro to Sidemount Courses in Dec. This course is ideal for those that want to try sidemount diving but it is much more than just a "try-dive".
During this course I'll cover some background on sidemount diving, sidemount equipment and basic skills before we head over to our training pool for two hours in the water. Your sidemount equipment will be personally fitted for you and you will learn how to don and doff your cylinders in water before we go and play, practicing buoyancy control, trim and stability. The last hour is spent back at the dive centre reviewing the video and answering questions. Check out this video from a previous Intro to Sidemount Course.
For those that wish to carry on and become a certified sidemount diver, our first Sidemount Fundamentals Course will run in Jan 2017. This four day course is aimed at Advanced Open Water divers and above and will cover all of the equipment and skills required to become a safe and competent sidemount diver. More information on the courses can be found here or for Global Dive customers, via their website.
Those of you who are considering sidemount might like to read some of the information here and I'll expand on that in my next blog - Six Reasons Why You Should Dive Sidemount.